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Margaret Heffernan: Willful Blindness - Author interview

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Margaret Heffernan: But when you are in an organization that won't tolerate dissent, that prizes loyalty and conformity above critical thinking, you put entire organizations at risk. The complexity of vast organizations often makes it impossible for anyone to see from one end of a transaction to another. Out-sourcing introduces such vast physical and cultural distances between operations that no one managing them really knows what is going on. (See the case of SIGG water bottles or Apple's shock over working conditions at the Foxcomm factory where its iPhone was made.) I argue also that over-paying individuals - blinding them with money - makes companies less engaged socially. Our willful blindness to pollution, global warming, over-population puts everything at risk.The gravest challenges we face aren't created by things we don't know about but things we do perceive but turn a blind eye to. The problem isn't that we can't see these problems but that we don't want to look at them.

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